The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday denied charge that it bungled the case against Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, the suspected mastermind of the April 14 bombing of the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja which killed no fewer than 75 people.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday dismissed the two-count terrorism charges against Ogwuche on what it described as lack of diligent prosecution by the state.
A statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel C. S. Ojukwu described as misleading reports that the charges were filed by the Police.
Parts of the statement is produced below:
It would be recalled that the Department of State Security (DSS), that had intelligence on the Nyanya Bombing and was investigating it, made a formal request to the Nigeria Police to assist in extraditing one Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche to Nigeria from Sudan, through the Interpol channel of which the Nigeria Police is well versed.
It was at this stage and for this reason that the Nigeria Police Force filed charges against the suspected fugitive Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, based on information that he fled to Sudan.
The filing of charges against the suspect is a legal procedure to enable the Nigeria Police formally request the Sudanese authorities to grant Nigeria’s extradition request in respect of the suspected fugitive.
For the records, copy of filed charge(s) against a fugitive must be appended to documents in support of extradition request made to the host country, which in this case, is Sudan.
These facts were made known to the court when it insisted on the production of the accused even before his extradition to Nigeria.
Following Ogwuche’s extradition which the Nigeria Police accomplished successfully, the DSS, obtained a Court Order to remand the suspect for an initial period of three months in line with the Prevention of Terrorism Act and also liaised with the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to undertake his prosecution.
For the record, at no time did the Nigeria Police arraign the suspect in court for terrorism related offences. Moreover, the purported prosecution/arraignment by the Police could not have happened as the Police could not prosecute a suspect it never arrested, never investigated nor had in its custody.
It is therefore grossly erroneous, mischievous and malicious to impute lack of diligent prosecution to the Police. The Nigeria Police Force is manifestly and positively committed to the will of Nigerians to rid the nation of violent crimes like terrorism. Many of our officers have paid the supreme sacrifice on account of this.
The Police while respecting the rights of the media to publish, however appeals that due diligent check be observed to ensure that misleading information is not disseminated to the reading public.